The BIG Difference: Righteousness by the Law or Relationship

The Uniqueness of Christianity is God's Righteousness by mere acceptance and not by effort of following the Laws. It is our choice to choose to be adopted and be re-birthed into the Family of God. But it is just the start of our new journey to fulfill the original purpose of God's creation of uniquely us.

Php 3:9 BBE  And be seen in him, not having my righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

We can rephrase the above to give clearer comparison:

... not having    my righteousness     which is   of the law,
          but      God's righteousness    through    faith in Christ.

Th BIG Differences between Religions and Christianity

1. By Effort: My trying vs My Acceptance of Christ.
    i.e. To Do vs Done; Stress vs Peace; Insecure vs Secure Eternally

All religions, except Christianity, preaches salvation by following a set of laws to be good and righteous. If one generation can't do it, then take several generations until one makes it say some religions. 

There is nothing wrong and there it is correct to try to be righteous and good. 

But to attain complete righteousness is an impossible thing. We could not even be sure that my one sin can be paid back by my other good work as some religion would like to have. The one hurt by my sin is usually not the one who benefited from my good work as some religions also encouraged. 

2. By Kind:  Man's righteousness vs God's righteousness
Even if ever, one makes it, it will only be one man's righteousness, the righteousness of the man type. So, where will it lead that one man? Will that solve the problem of death? It may stop the re-incarnation of just that one man. Will that qualifies that man to enter heaven? Will heaven be a lonely place of just a few? 

So we find that our righteousness by performance of following the law is either near impossibility or of no use because it is only man's kind. 

Paul considered his righteousness through the law as a Pharisee is not any worth at all when compare to the other kind of righteousness, the righteousness of God.

Righteousness of God's kind qualifies us into heaven to be with God and God's kind of people. Because we need to change man's kind into God's kind, man is re-birthed, born again, in the spirit, to become a new creation of God's kind. This rebirth takes place when we believe and receive Christ as Son of God and His death payment for our sins. It is not our effort and there is nothing to boast unlike the by law way. 

Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

From Performance to Relationship
Righteousness of God kind is by relationship and not by works. A child is automatically love by his/her parents. The new babe did nothing but cry. The parents give him/her all the tender care willingly. If you say the child earns it, he/she earns it by being born, even without his/her choice, into the family of relationship. But now, whether we want to be in God's family and be adopted as His child is our choice.

What then is the Law for?
Paul tells us that the Laws is for us to know our sins and our needs for God. The Laws also reflect God's character. Hence, Jesus did not come to do away with the Laws but to uphold and fulfill it by taking of His righteousness and giving to men. Anyone that is born of God will, by the new birth, automatically want to do things that not only fulfill but surpass the Laws. Love is more than not harming. 

But Salvation is Just the Start and not the End
However, salvation is just the first step to complete the original plan of God for man. Most people like to quote Eph 2:8-9 and forget about v10. 

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We are saved for good works!

That is also why Php 2:12-13 tells us to work out the moving of the God within. God got within by our salvation and we need to respond to the new birth by living out what is of the inside. 

Philippians (NIV)
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling 
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

People Changed because of Hope - Force will only cause temporary adherence
The good news of the gospel is then you get a better righteousness, the God's kind rather than man's kind, and without your stress and hard work but by just believing in Christ.

We can change the behavior of some one by force or by triggering a change of heart.

You will find people usually change because of a better hope.

The best example found in the Bible is the Story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-9. His repentance comes when Jesus told him to come down from the tree because he was going to stay at his house. Acceptance and Hope work better than threats. This is the good news that we have.

Your Choice
Which do you choose, your own man type of righteousness by effort or God's righteousness by faith in Christ?
Do you want to try or to be sure ?
Do you want to hold on to God's hand or let God holds on to yours?
Do you want to be adopted into God's family?

Lim Liat (C) 26 Sep 2012


Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

It is an attribute that implies that a person's actions are justified, and can have the connotation that the person has been "judged" or "reckoned" as leading a life that is pleasing to God. Law Firm